tv Politics Nation MSNBC January 19, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
while mitt may end up 1 for 3 in the political arena, we're now getting a reminder that newt is already into the clubhouse with his marital score which also happens to be 1 for 3. and now mrs. gingrich number 2 has a word twoer to share. well, we'll let her speak for herself. newt to speak for himself. night come up with john sununu or jim town or susan molinar toi spoke for him. and then the voters of south carolina will get to speak. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton. it's been a wild day in campaign 2012. and that's our lead tonight. the showdown in south carolina. newt gingrich has some momentum there. but today his ex-wife marianne did an interview with abc, and she dropped this bombshell. >> i said to him, newt, we've been married a long time, and he
said, yes, but you want me all to yourself. calista doesn't care what i do. >> what was he saying, do you think? >> oh, he was asking to have an open marriage. and i refused. >> he wanted an open marriage? >> yeah, that i accept the fact that he has somebody else in his life. >> and you said? >> no. no. that is not a marriage. >> "the washington post" also interviewed marianne gingrich today revealing even more secrets about newt. later, gingrich appeared at an event in south carolina with his wife calista standing by his side. and he even brought his grandson out on the campaign trail today. there were other major events of the campaign today. we learned the surprising news that mitt romney did not win the iowa caucus. rick santorum did.
that news shattered romney's claim of inevitablity. a few hours later, rick perry dropped out of the race and threw his support behind newt gingrich. >> i have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign. therefore, today, i am suspending my campaign and endorsing newt gingrich for president of the united states. >> and two polls released today show newt surging ahead of willard in south carolina by as much as six points. but on what should have been a banner day, newt was forced to address his past yet again. the question is, will it stop what is clearly a newt surge in south carolina? joining me from south carolina is dick harpootlian, democratic chairman in south carolina and james staff writer forrian ginh
and for that interview, it ran today in "the washington post." and he spoke with her this morning. thank you both for joining me. >> you're welcome. >> thank you, al. >> james, what stuck out most in your interview with marianne? >> well, the thing that jumped out at me was the fact that he asked her for a divorce a day before flying to a conference entitled "the demise of the american culture" in which he was extolling family values and criticizing liberal politicians for their family values and their lack of religious values. so that was one striking contradiction. the other was, i think, the deep pain that mrs. gingrich felt as any spouse might feel when she learned that her husband had been having an affair while he
was in office and unknown to her at the time. >> so this is not just a story of just a marriage. this is a story of hypocrisy because you are saying that she said he actually was on his way to a family values forum preaching family values and preaching conservative values while, in fact, he was asking his wife for an open marriage? >> right. you can watch that speech on c span. we've got a link on it off of our story. and he uses god 11 times, family 11 times. he talks about the creator and values all throughout that speech. and yet he had just the day before had asked his wife for divorce. and then over the course of the next month as he continued to give those kinds of speeches, he brought up this idea of keeping his outside relationship, his
relationship outside of his marriage while he kept his marriage going. something that mrs. marianne gingrich did not want to do. in fact, the phrase was essentially what she also told abc news. what she said was that's not a marriage. you know, you can't have more than one wife in a marriage. >> why does she come forward now? some are questioning the timing of this. >> well, it's an interesting question. you know, a source tells me that she thought this is -- the interview may have actually run after the south carolina primary, not before. you know, she had been, sources tell me in discussions with two networks, cbs "60 minutes" and brian rothstein. she chose the brian rothstein to do the interview. she sat down for two hours earlier this week, and she had been under the belief that it
was going to run after the primary, but when drudge report got ahold of it last night, abc decided they couldn't hold it and they are putting it on tv this evening. >> let me go to you, dick. will this stop newt's surge? let me show you why i'm asking. today, two very well known far right republicans are -- or conservatives, i should say, say this won't matter at all. rush limbaugh and sarah palin. let me show you. >> i got a great note from a friend of mine. so newt wanted an open marriage. bfd, at least he asked his wife for permission instead of just cheating on her. that's a mark of character in my book. newt is a victim. >> the thinking that by trotting out this old gingrich divorce interview that's old news and it does feature a disgruntled ex,
claiming that it would destroy a campaign, all this does, sean is incentivize conservatives and independents who are so sick of the politics of personal destruction, their target in this case, newt, he is now going to soar even more because we know the game now. >> he's going to soar even more. what do you think, dick. >> you know, al, it pains me to do this, and i want you to destroy this tape after i say this, but i have to agree with rush limbaugh and sarah palin. i don't think this is going to hurt him here. and let's remember here. let's look at recent history. last year, when our governor, nicky hailey was running in a very contested, very tough republican primary, two guys came forward and said they had an extra marital affair with her recently. not only did it not hurt her, she went up ten points in the poll and some people credit those attacks and those revelations with her winning the primary. this is not new news. and while people may wonder or
criticize newt for cheating on his wife, mitt romney won't reveal his income taxes so, we don't know whether he's been cheating on aus. i think those issues, the personal issues, are going to get deflected this year. ever since gennifer flowers in 1992 with bill clinton, they become less and less important. i think newt is on a trajectory to win here. i talked to a number of republicans today with perry getting out and -- >> that's what i want to ask you. how important, because i agree with you. those are the real issues. how important is perry getting out? let me show our viewers some of what perry said today. >> i believe newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country. we've had our differences, which campaigns will inevitably have. and newt is not perfect, but who among us is?
the fact is, there is forgiveness for those who seek god. and i believe in the power of redemption, for it is a central tenet of my christian faith. i have no question that newt gingrich has the heart of a conservative reformer. the ability to rally and capital vase the conservative movement. the courage to tell those washington interests to take a hike if that's what's in the best interest of our country. >> dick, is that going to have impact on republican voters? will that help newt win saturday? >> absolutely. not because so much that he'll get perry supporters because there ain't that many of them, but it is the culmination of a series of events since the debate on monday night when romney refused to -- he flubbed the question on income taxes. he then said that his $400,000 in speaking fees was inconsequential income in a
statement where the average wage is $32,000. he now yesterday revealed he had money in the caymans. this is sort of richie rich image of him that's gotten him in big trouble. not one of us. and this endorsement by perry, there are a lot of people out there, many republicans i talked to at a coffee shop or i see in a restaurant. i say who your voting for on saturday. most of them are sort of early ear last week were saying, well, probably romney. they are moving over to newt. and they are moving over to him because they see fire in his belly and somebody that will fight for what they believe in. now he's got a lot of baggage, but they are looking at romney and saying, this guy, he doesn't have a fire in his belly. he's not comfortable in his own skin. he's got all the awkwardness of somebody who is trying to proclaim he's one of us but really just a rich guy. >> dick, let me show you this poll to really support what you are saying. predebate, romney was at 37% and gingrich was at 22%. this is prior to monday night's
debate. post debate, romney went down to 31% and gingrich went up to 26%. does that mean a lot is rising on tonight's debate? >> absolutely. i think this is going to be the political equivalent of the thrilla in manila. if romney doesn't -- he's got to do more than just rope a dope to follow the metaphor. he's got to get out there. he's got to skocore points on newt. if he comes across as the stumbling, bumbling guy he was on monday, he's out of this race, out of south carolina. as you pointed out he lost iowa. he loses south carolina and then goes into florida. he could -- this thing is going to go the distance. i'm not sure he's got -- again, he doesn't relate well. people don't -- george w. bush, people said they voted for him because he's a guy they'd like to have a beer with. mitt romney when they see him is someone they'd like to have pate and champagne with. >> i want to add something if i
could, y'aal. the resurgence of newt gingrich may be the reason marianne gingrich wanted to come forward. she was not trying to target him or torpedo his campaign. i think she basically told me this idea -- the inevitablity that he probably is going to survive south carolina whether it be first or second, and the fact he's going to go into florida means he's going to continue to be a candidate. the idea that his second marriage is going to be out there without any discussion happening and her concern and there's some legitimacy, i think, to this that she was being tarnished by supporters of newt that somehow she was at fault for the failure of this marriage. she felt it was inevitable and unavoidable that she'd have to do an interview. she wanted to do it sooner rather than later and get it out there and be over with and then not talk about it again. >> she did say in all fairness. nice thinsome nice things a.
>> she was a backer of his ideas and policies. she felt she was a true partner with him when he was speaker of the house. and that's why i believe that mr. limbaugh is mistaken when he says that he asked for her mission. she had no idea that he had decided to take up with this young staffer in the united states capitol. >> dick and james, both, thank you. and dick, just for note, the thrilla in manila was where they did not do the rope a dope. rope a dope was rumble in the jungle, but -- i'm an ali fan. >> i screwed up my sports metaphors, al, and you had to correct me. you could just let it go. >> yeah, i could have done that. the president was on the road fighting for fairness today. as willard romney was in south carolina fighting off questions from the 99%. it didn't go well.
>> you know what? america is right and you're wrong. >> wow! and newt wasn't talking about food stamps presidents with me a few years ago. we're live in south carolina on how race is playing out with two days to go. and i mentioned the big voting mess in iowa. willard's no longer the winner. it's very quiet. i don't hear anything. i want to know where all the right wing outrage is. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. how can you get back pain relief that lasts up to 16 hours? with thermacare heatwraps. thermacare works differently. it's the only wrap with patented heat cells that penetrate deep to relax, soothe, and unlock tight muscles. for up to 16 hours of relief, try thermacare. so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt.
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the number one thing we now know is when this becomes a two-person race that romney has a huge problem because he's too liberal for most republican members. >> i see the president is in florida today speaking. guess where he's going to be giving the speech. fantasy land. yeah. he may speak into speaker gingrich there. >> the only reason that governor romney is ahead right this minute is because the conservatives are split three ways. >> the speaker was talking about all the jobs that he helped create in the reagan years. the idea that people in washington somehow think they are responsible after they've been there for two years for creating millions of jobs, it's the kind of fantasy that happens. if you've been there too long --
>> get the idea these guys don't like each other? newt and willard have battled on taxes. they've battled on social issues. they've battled on character. this is personal. and tonight, they'll go face to face for the last time until the primary on saturday. what may hang in the balance is who wins the south carolina primary. what can we expect to see? let's find out from our next guest. joining me now live from south carolina is erin mcpike from the real clear politics. and bob franken, who has covered newt gingrich for years. thank you both for joining me. >> good evening. >> thank you. >> erin, you are down there. what do you expect to see tonight? >> just as you said, a big fight between newt gingrich and mitt romney. they've been going at each other, mitt romney's finally starting to talk about newt
gingrich in his stump speech which he hadn't done in about a month. i think we're also going to see a little bit about newt gingrich's three marriages come up tonight. as you know, another network had an interview with his second wife marianne in which she bashes him for essentially asking her if she would be open to an open marriage with him while he was carrying on an affair with his now wife calista. but, you know, i think, al, that we're seeing a lot of overconfidence from the gingrich campaign. he was talking today at an event in walterboro, south carolina, and saying if he wins here in south carolina on saturday, that he thinks he'll be the republican nominee. it's the kind of language that we heard from him in early december when he was rising in the polls, expecting to be the republican nominee. and when he gets overconfident like that, he runs into some trouble. but when mitt romney is under fire, he also has some difficulties. so i think we'll see a lot of sparks flying between the two of them tonight. >> now bob, what about mr.
willard romney? how will he be handled by newt and rick santorum who we found out today looks like he won the iowa caucus. >> well, he was probably talking to his consultants in the cayman islands to find out more about that. but i suspect that he is going to be prepared, as prepared as his staff can make him, be prepared to answer questions about that. it would not surprise me, and you have to know that i have not had any discussions with the candidates about their strategies. it would not surprise me in this debate if mitt romney makes a promise to release his tax forms, and it would not surprise me if newt gingrich is the one who initiated a discussion about the interview with his second wife. in other words, that sometimes the best defense is a good offense. it would not surprise me to see that at all. it would also not surprise me to have rick santorum spend an awful lot of time talking about his family and his approach
toward family values and this kind of thing. as for ron paul, he'll probably just take on the federal reserve like usual. >> now what about rick santorum, erin? he's got a big -- he lost a big opportunity to have momentum had he been declared the winner that night. it is arguable from his supporters that new hampshire might have been a little different. south carolina might have been different. can he get back into play tonight? >> we'll have to see what his strategy is in tonight's debate. but as you know, he's starting to get some endorsements from social conservatives, from family values conservatives who are saying he is the best one in the race on those issues. i think he might talk about newt gingrich's marriage himself by saying he's been married to the same woman on his life and try to bring up newt gingrich's personal life to make some
contrast with himself. >> let me ask you this, bob. you mentioned taxes. and i think that's going to be a -- clearly an issue that has already been raised. national review came out today, the national review board, came out urging romney to release his taxes. in a statement today we know that should romney become the nominee, he will be criticized over the sources of his wealth and will have to effectively respond. and they go on to say he should release his taxes. we heard a commitment from newt gingrich that he would release his taxes. has he done that, bob? >> well, not that i'm aware of, but newt gingrich apparently is making the point that he paid 31% rate for his income. strikes me as a little high, actually, unless he's counting everything, social security, state taxes, property taxes, et cetera, et cetera. but mitt romney is the one who sort of is tarnished, if i can
use that word, with his wealth. it's kind of hard to really think of that as a concept, but here is a man who apparently approaches politics as some sort of no bless oblige and now he's being dragged into the real world and the release of his tax forms, i could see him wanting to do it now so it isn't an issue later. >> well, he had said, i believe at one point on thursday, it would be dramat fick he released them during the demate tonight and challenged romney to do it. unlike you, i haven't talked to anybody, but it would be something interesting. but, erin, let me go back to you. you keep bringing up the interview with the second wife. in the segment before you, i talked to people there who say they don't think it's a big issue. nikki haley was charged with having affairs and she won. and that today, rush limbaugh and sarah palin came out and said it was going to backfire and help newt.
>> that may be, but the fact of the matter is, as far as newt gingrich is concerned, he has admitted to those affairs whereas nikki haley, those affairs were likely not true and she said as much. i've talked to some voters who said it's all in the past pench deserves some forgiveness. but tlair lot of social conservatives who really vote on their religion and don't like these issues. i think the big test is now that he's surging in the polls, how it plays out in south carolina on saturday. and honestly, we don't know until we see the vote on saturday. >> bob, what does newt have to do on saturday to stay in this? you know him well. you have covered him for years. does he have to win? does he have to come close? if so, how close? >> well, i think that he has to make a credible showing. i really don't have a numerical figure here. but probably fairly close. but he's already saying he's going on to florida which has its own variation of wackiness.
so first he's going to go to north carolina. apparently it would be phenomenally important for him if he were able to knock off mitt romney. but assuming he comes in a close second and he gets most of that conservative vote, then he can make the argument that he is the clear alternative for all those people who really desperately in the republican party want abm, anybody but mitt. >> erin mcpike and bob franken, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. ahead -- the obama re-election is off and running. he's hitting the road with a message of fairness. big news tonight. plus -- just how is newt's racial politics playing out? we're live in south carolina. and occupy anger. willard loses his cool. it was telling. stay with us. this is an rc robotic claw.
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you never really know a person until you see them under pressure. and it looks like willard mitt romney can't handle the heat. he was responding to a question on what he'd do for the 99%. >> america is a great nation because we're a united nation. and those who try and divide the nation as you are trying to do here and as our president is doing are hurting this country seriously. the right course for america is not to divide america. you know what? you know what? america's right and you're wrong. >> willard just couldn't keep his cool when someone disagreed
with him. makes me think back to this moment in august. >> when you're talking about civility, how is your vice president calling us -- >> sir, i'll explain right now. >> he said we were acting like terrorists. >> no, what he said was for us to be willing to take the economy to the brink was irresponsible. and it was. >> now the president certainly didn't agree with those people, but he listened to what they had to say, didn't raise his voice. that's what leaders do. they stay cool under pressure. more tales from the trail. that's next. [ female announcer ] this is not a prescription. this is mary. who has a million things to pick up each month
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>> welcome back to "politics nation." make no mistake about it. the presidential race is on. today, president obama unveiled the job initiative in the key state of florida. days before gop candidates turn their attention to that state. his campaign is also out with this first ad of this campaign. hitting the air waves in six states. and that's not all. following his state of the union next tuesday, the president will take his message to five key battlegrounds. and as he pushes this notion of fairness, at least one republican is selling his own message. except it's, well, unbalanced. >> what will you do to support the 99% seeing as you are part of the 1%. >> let me tell you something. america is a great nation because we're a united nation. and those who try and divide the nation as you are trying to do here and as our president is doing are hurting our country seriously.
the right course for america is not to divide america. you know what? america is right and you're wrong. >> no, willard, you're wrong. and if it were enough that you pay a lower rate of taxes than a secretary, today we're learning more about all the money you have stashed offshore. "the wall street journal report"s that you may be parking those millions in the cayman islands to avoid paying, i'm quoting them, an obscure but hefty tax as much as 35%. interesting. but what's more interesting is your campaign's response that you, quote, do not control the investment of these assets. end of quote. all right. then you should show your tax returns. i'd love to understand those investments. joining me now is congresswoman karen bass, democrat from california. congresswoman, thanks for coming
on the show tonight. i want to show you something that i find pretty surprising. >> sure. >> despite the poster child for unfairness, willard mitt romney is tied with president obama in the latest "new york times" poll, i am confused. why is that? >> well, we'll see. and i don't believe that that's going to last very long. when people understand that mitt romney or willard as you like to call him, reverend, he believes that he should function by a different set of rules. he doesn't feel that the rules that the average middle class or working family has to abide by when they pay for taxes applies to him. so investments in the cayman islands? everybody knows what the cayman islands is about. he even makes fun of people that are unemployed. he thinks it's funny to say that he's been unemployed or that he has a pink slip. i think he is completely insensitive and to me, as soon as people understand that, and i do believe more and more are getting to understand that every day, we're going to watch the president soar.
>> congresswoman, not only his own personal, but let's look at his tax plan which really gives to the rich and hurts the poor. his plan, this is willard mitt romney's tax plan. $146,000 average tax cut for millionaires. 60% tax increase for households with income below $20,000. so his plan is absolutely for the top 1% as those that confronted him today in south carolina was raising to him. >> when we are going to elect a president, we want to elect somebody that is going to fight for the middle class. that is going to fight for working families. how could mitt romney do that when he has no clue how the middle class lives. if he did understand that, he certainly wouldn't make comments like, well, i made a little bit of money on my speaking fees. $375,000 is what he made on his speaking fees? he talks about the unemployed. he has no idea how the unemployed have to live from
paycheck to paycheck. >> congresswoman bass, you are in the congress. i want you to help me with two polls that seem to be contradictory, but understand the politics of the congress. it may make more sense if you explain it. one poll says that two-thirds of independents say president obama hasn't done enough on the economy. 63% of independents say president obama hasn't made real progress in fixing the economy. yet despite this, another poll says that more americans blame the bush administration for the situation we're currently in. 43% say they blame the bush administration. only 14%. could it be that most americans or most independents feel enough has not been done. most americans understand that the president has inherited a bad hand and has had a congress that has really been more obstructionist than anything else? >> i think that's absolutely the
case, which is why i think it's going to be great the day after the state of the union that the president is going to hit the road. because i think the accomplishments of his presidency have really been amazing. now it's true the jobless rate certainly needs to continue to go down, but you know that it's the lowest that it's been in four years, and that we were down 50,000 people in terms of the number of folks that applied for unemployment this time around. first time unemployed. so the economy is getting better. but it's not getting better fast enough. there are still four job seekers for every job. so things do need to get better. could you imagine what it would be if we had been continued in the free-fall that the president continued where we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs every month in '09? >> now he has to make that case on the road. he has to tell people of these accomplishments. how contentious is it in the congress between the tea party crowd and the right wing of the republican parties and those -- you remember the progressive
caucus. how contentious is to to try to make something happen. or can we hope there can be some bipartisan unity around some of the issues that americans really care about? >> well, first of all, the unemployment insurance is going to run out. the deal made at the end of last year is going to run out at the end of february. so we absolutely have to come to an agreement. now it's interesting you asked about the tea party because, you know, the republicans are in their caucus this weekend. and it's going to be interesting to see if whether or not the tea party members continue to have a bloc within the republican party. but to talk about a party that hasn't a clue about the unemployed, you know, 84% of people that are unemployed have at least a high school diploma. and one of the requirements that they want to put on an individual seeking unemployment is that they go and receive courses for geds. what we're really trying to do, in my office and in congress, is to put the true face of the unemployed out for the public because i think that the republicans are painting a
picture as though an unemployment check is a disincentive for somebody to go out and find a job when an unemployment check can barely feed you and pay your rent. so i think that we have to come to a conclusion at the end of february. i'm certainly hoping that my republican colleagues would have learned from the mistakes that they made in december and not repeat them. >> congresswoman karen bass, thank you for coming on the show tonight. good to see you. >> thanks for having me on. ahead, breaking news out of iowa. the integrity of the vote there compromised. but silence from the right. and a tough day for the late night comedians. rick perry is finally calling it quits. we'll look back on all the gaffes. one golden crown. come on frank how long have we known each other? go to e-trade. they got killer tools man. they'll help you nail a retirement plan that's fierce. two golden crowns. you realize the odds of winning are the same as being mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear in the same day? frank!
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take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals, and the storybook narrator... [ man ] you're left with more electric trucks. more recycled shipping materials... and a growing number of lower emissions planes... which still makes for a pretty enchanted tale. ♪ la la la [ man ] whoops, forgot one... [ male announcer ] sustainable solutions. fedex. solutions that matter. with his victory last night in new hampshire, mitt romney becomes the first nonincumbent republican to win both the primary there and also at the iowa caucuses. >> he won iowa and new hampshire. first time anyone has ever done that. >> with a slim victory in iowa and now compounded with a big victory in new hampshire, i've got a good start. >> we have breaking news. breaking election news from iowa. willard mitt romney is no longer the only republican in history to win iowa and new hampshire.
because it turns out, he didn't really win iowa. the final count came out today and shows rick santorum actually won by 34 votes. it turns out the votes from eight precincts are missing. a gop party spokesman says, we never got them. we tried to track them down and for whatever reason, we don't have them. there's no way to really know who won the race. wow. that sounds serious. votes not counted. the integrity of an election in question. the whole republican party must be screaming in outrage. wait. what's that? no screaming? no outrage? hundreds of votes out the window but no one is complaining? but i thought they cared about election integrity. that's how republicans justified their voter i.d. laws they are pushing in 34 states across the
country. even iowa republicans pushed a voter i.d. law this year which would have had an effect on these caucus results. as we said all along, there's no perfect way to run an election. iowa proves that beyond any reasonable doubt. in fact, the iowa results show what a joke, a wicked joke, are the republicans attacks on democrats and voting. joining me now live from south carolina where republicans are fighting for voter i.d. laws, even after being blocked by the justice department is south carolina's state representative joe neil, democrat from hopkins and fellow south carolina state representative gilda hunter of orangeburg. thank both of you -- thanks to both of you for joining me tonight. >> thanks for having us, reverend. >> joe, do you believe republicans really want to ensure election integrity with these voter i.d. laws they are fighting for in your state?
>> absolutely not. this is about voter suppression. this is about making sure that what happened in 2008 does not repeat in 2012 where people of color and independents and the elderly and students turned out in record numbers. this is about making sure that never happens again. >> now it's strange they're not up in arms about iowa and really reversing history. so it really is suspicious to me when they talk all this voter integrity. yet, gilda, your governor, nikki haley has vowed to look at who it impacts. there are an estimated 217,000 voters without voter i.d. in your state. now when you compare the 217,000 voters with i.d. to the strafra?
the state in the last decade, the last ten years, there's been only one convicted case of voter fraud. so what is this all about? >> well, reverend, as my colleague joe neal said, it's all about making sure that in november of 2012 we don't have the same results as we had in november of 2008. i find it very interesting that our governor would waste precious resources that the state does not have in fighting a lawsuit against -- about voting -- voter suppression. quite frankly, as the ranking member on the house ways and means committee, i can think of a lot more things we ought to be spending state dollars on as opposed to fighting a lawsuit. we don't have that kind of money, and it makes no sense. i think a part of it is our governor making sure that she maintains the national profile.
>> now, joe, the associated press using state data found that the law will hit black precincts hardest. is that your belief? >> that's right. i think that's the strategy that the republican party has taken nationally. with this particular approach of voter i.d. because what it does is to target people of color who tend not to have state-issued i.d.s. the elderly who also would tend to have a lower quotient of state-issued i.d.s and students. it's diabolical. but it is well thought out. it's simply evil. it simply robs people of their constitutional right to vote. >> now gilda, newt gingrich who is surging now in your state's republican primary has used a lot of racial language in this particular state primary. you know, talking about food
stamps and the food stamp president. and i was a little taken aback because on martin luther king day monday night, he made a big thing about food stamp president and blacks and got a standing ovation. but in 2009, he came to my martin luther king day celebration in washington, d.c., the day before president obama was inaugurated. and this is how he talked about then incoming president. >> i am thrilled to be here, and i am thrilled that on this historic week that each of you is here. tomorrow we will inaugurate a historic first african-american president of the united states. it is -- it will be great for america. >> now that was him about 1200
people in the audience. mostly of color. he forgot to tell us about food stamps. he forgot to tell us about how we were not role models to our kids. he praised me for fighting for education. is newt gingrich playing a cynical race card in south carolina, gilda? >> well, reverend, i don't know how cynical it is. i certainly think it's a race card. without question, the language, speaker gingrich having represented georgia for a number of years knows the language of the south. he knows the buzz words. and quite frankly, i don't see how one can come to any conclusion other than he is playing to a certain element that, unfortunately, seems to be in the republican party. and across this country. >> joe neal, i know from my visits to south carolina that flying over the state capitol has been the confederate flag. is that flag still there? >> it is still there.
>> and that flag represents the confederacy and represents really those that were traitors to this country. gilda, to your knowledge, have any of the republican candidates denounced the flying of that flag which is un-american? have they denounced it to your knowledge? >> if they have denounced it, reverend, i have not heard it, and i've been paying pretty close attention to it. if they've denounced it it certainly has not been denounced here in the state of south carolina during the process of this presidential primary. >> so they haven't said it during this period. we'll see what they say later in the debate. let me thank you -- >> let's keep hope alive. >> thank you reverend. >> let's keep the faith, baby. >> joe neal, gilda hunter, thank you both for your time tonight. ahead -- >> thank you for having us. >> the run is over for governor perry. but don't worry, governor. you'll leave us laughing. and we're grateful.
adios, mofo. >> and with that unique sign-off, let us bid farewell to texas governor rick perry's texas-sized flop of a presidential campaign. remember back in august, perry swaggered on to the field with the texas-sized ego? it turns out he just couldn't back it up. today he suspended his presidential bid, leaving the stage without making one of his trademark gaffes. but he cannot escape the tape. here's a look at perry's long, strange trip. >> it's time to get america working again. in one word, tell us what your campaign is all about. oops. and i stepped in it.
he was for race to the top. he's for obama care and now he's against it. >> nailed it. >> perry really did throw up all over himself in the debate. >> rick perry's campaign has hit a rock, as in rock bottom. >> live free, victory or death, bring it or -- that. >> good speech. >> those bureaucrats at the department of commerce and energy and education that we're going to do away with. >> i never quit a day in my life. i have never quit in the face of adversity. i'm not just about to quit on the future of america. i am going to stay in this race and stay in this fight. >> i am suspending my campaign and endorsing newt gingrich. oops.